November 2006 | Vol. V - No. 11
TDmonthly's Toy Sleuth: Toys Get Cool
A Little Old, a Little New, a Little Duck, a Little Preview
The world has become a microcosm of ... the world. Look to Japan, and we see America. Look to France, and we see Japan. Everywhere is closer, and there are no borders in toyland anymore. TDmonthly Magazine’s Toy Sleuth took a walk on the “new” side and found toys from around the globe and right in your own backyard.
Ducky Goes Dark
Imagine combining Darth Vader, a duck and a glowing water-activated bath toy: voila, Duck Fadar. It’s a great gift from the UK for anyone who likes to stay clean... in a bathtub far, far away. “The ducks are doing really well,” added Stephanie Prentice, PR manager for I Want One of Those Ltd., in London. “And, yes we do” get repeat customers.
Lift Off ... a Little
Spin Master Toys weighs in with the Picco-Z radio-controlled mini-mini helicopter, version 2, the smallest and lightest RC helicopter in the world. It fits into the palm of your hand. Phoenix Radio Shack manager Doug Artson thought they’d “really sell out at Christmas. Last year our RC helicopters went through the roof, and this one is even cooler.”
Fry the Aliens
And here in America, Diamond Select Toys and Collectibles LLC has come out with an amazing Star Trek 40th Anniversary Phaser for $27.95 that looks (but does not act, except against Klingons) like something Captain Kirk used to fry aliens. It’s a definite “must-have for any Star Trek fan,” according to the people at Alter Ego Comics who carry it, though Marc Bowker there doesn’t carry the bronze-handled ones because “they didn’t look as cool.”
She’ll Have Her Pony
Rounding out our globe-hopping toy extravaganza is Sega Toys Ltd.’s latest robotic pet, for those little girls who asked their parents for a pony and were refused: The Dream Pony! This full-size (we’re talking 4' high) battery-operated equine can actually react to its environment. Too bad the thing doesn’t locomote on its own (though it will support up to 80 pounds). “We may only sell this in Japan, depending on the demand,” Ms. Yagushi of Sega informed TDmonthly.
Here's more info on some of the coolest new toys around:
Duck Fadar is an LED-packed rubber duck that resembles everyone's favorite Dark Lord. Simply splash him into the bath and watch in awe as he floats around and automatically phases through various mesmerizing colors.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9741 (added 10/23/2006)
This set lets two players face off against one another using two miniature helicopters that can be maneuvered into position and fire infrared beams. The battle set includes authentic battling sounds to further immerse players in the activity.
— “Spin Master Havoc helicopter has been great,” Puzzle Zoo Co-owner Jay Demircift told TDmonthly in early 2008 of this best-seller in his stores.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 15714 (added 10/11/2007)
Trek Tek action replicas are full-scale toys modeled directly on original Star Trek props for maximum authenticity. With realistic action lights and sound and adjustable power settings, kids and fans will feel like they’re on board Kirk's Enterprise. An original two-in-one-design allows the Type-1 mini hand phaser to be separated from the Type-2 phaser pistol for the full Trek experience.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9743 (added 10/23/2006)
The 1.2-meter tall, battery-operated Dream Pony (Yume-Kouma) is outfitted with sensors that enable it to react to its environment. Pet the pony’s neck and back and it shakes its head and moves its ears and tail in appreciation. Dream Pony also responds to audio and visual stimuli with a whole repertoire of reactions — including an anxious-sounding whinny when the room becomes dark and a jerk of the head in response to a sudden loud noise. Dream Pony also comes with a plastic carrot that it attempts to eat when held in front of its face.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9744 (added 10/23/2006)
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Writer's Bio: Mark Zaslove is an entertainment industry veteran in developing content (writing, directing and producing television and feature films) for the major studios, including Disney, Universal and Warner Bros. A two-time Emmy Award winner for writing and recipient of the Humanitas Prize (for writing uplifting human values in television and movies), Mark is also Head of Content Development for Nice Entertainment. Read more articles by this author
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